BLACK CLOUD OF GLOOM!

Jeanette Berry,  September, 1975

I have a personal classification of my husband's sermons, "Really Good", "Great", and "Classic",---meaning it should go down in history!  In all the years I've been married to him I have never heard him preach a dud.  Not long ago he preached on the subject, "What Happens When A Preacher Gets Discouraged."  A discouraged preacher says the wrong thing, does the wrong thing, and several other good points, using Elijah as the example.  It was great.

It brought to my mind that the same thing happens when the preacher's wife gets discouraged.  A black cloud of gloom and despair hides the radiance and joy of God within her.  It comes to all of us at some time or the other.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed, as my mother used to tell me.

I could very piously tell you to pray, but you know too well that your prayers seem to get no higher than your head.  Often you are too discouraged to think that prayer will help.  You may be tempted to pour out your troubles to the first person that appears the least interested.  DON'T!  You may give ammunition to someone that will later use it against you, or perhaps make for some juicy gossip for weeks to come.  It could even hurt the testimony of your church and hurt your husband's ministry.  Your husband may be sympathetic, but really doesn't know what to do with you.  In fact, you don't know what to do with yourself.

Try having a good heart-to-heart talk with yourself.  Ask yourself such questions as, "When did this mood start?  Are you jealous, selfish, frustrated?  What does your mind dwell on when this black mood descends?  Are you pleasing God?  How long do you intend to let this continue?  What is going to be the end result of this mood?".  Get your finger on the root and then deal with yourself decisively.  Don't allow yourself to sulk and pout.  (You would be offended if your husband did it, and you would not tolerate your children acting in this manner).

After a thorough inventory of yourself, you will be ready to pray.  First ask for forgiveness for the sin you found.  Then thank God for all that He does for you.  Get yourself busy and you will soon be surprised that the black gloom is gone and in its place is a radiant, happy wife, ready to be all that her husband could ask or think.


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